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PM condemns border jumping

Border jumpers crossing the river between Lesotho and South Africa


Nov. 24, 2020 2 min read

2 min read


PRIME Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro has condemned the untoward border jumping that occurs between Lesotho and South Africa, especially in Maputsoe, Leribe.

Delivering his COVID-19 national address on Sunday, he said the government has decided to open the economy across all sectors as new cases of the pandemic subside.

Despite a significant contraction in new COVID-19 cases, Dr Majoro sent out a strong message to people who have made it a habit and normalised the use of porous borders, particularly in Maputsoe, to cross over to and from South Africa.

He called on an immediate stop to the illegal border crossing in order to avoid the risk of super spreading the pandemic between the two neighboring countries.

The pandemic has already killed more than 20 000 people in South Africa with above 770, 000 cases reported.

“The illegal movement between the two countries will bring us pain. So the district leadership in Leribe has to double its efforts in dealing with this issue. It should work with both police and the army to fight the behavior before things gets out of hand,” the Premier also said.

He applauded Quthing and Qacha’s Nek for deploying the best measures in dealing with illegal crossings between Lesotho and South Africa, especially now in the midst of the pandemic.  

His remarks come less than a month after the Minister of Home Affairs Motlalentoa Letsosa had a virtual meeting with his South African counterpart Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, in a move to address cross border concerns.

Among some of the issues discussed, the two ministers weighed in on the possibility of allowing free movement of people who reside along the borders of the two countries.

“The discussions are ongoing but there is absolutely no need for people who reside along the river to go all the way to the border gate just to visit their neighbours or relatives on the other side. We are working on this issue.” Mr Letsosa had said shortly after the meeting.

Thousands of Basotho who work in South Africa have been dealt a devastating blow as they struggle to move between the two countries either to or from work.


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Some have since lost their jobs due to the pandemic, which resulted in the closing of borders.

Last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations ’Matšepo Ramakoae also met her SA counterpart, Dr Naledi Pandor and their discussions were centred on a Joint Bilateral Commission of Cooperation (JBCC).

Mrs Ramakoae emphasised the need to strengthen cross border cooperation between the two countries, adding that while dealing with JBCC, security should be deepened by both countries in order to tackle the current concerns such as illegal crossings, human trafficking, stock theft and smuggling of drugs.

 

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